Jimmy Carter photo

Proclamation 4612—Aniakchak National Monument

December 01, 1978

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The Aniakchak Caldera is located in the heart of the Alaska Peninsula. It is so unexpected a feature that it remained unknown to all but the Natives of the region until about 1920. With its average diameter of approximately six miles, Aniakchak is one of the world's largest calderas.

In the interior of the caldera are textbook examples of certain volcanic features such as lava flows, cinder cones, and explosion pits. Also lying within the caldera is Surprise Lake which is fed by warm springs and is uniquely charged with chemicals. Surprise Lake is the source of the Aniakchak River, which cascades through a 1,500 foot gash in the caldera wall and downward for 27 miles to the Pacific Ocean.

The flanks of the caldera provide a geological and biological continuum by which to make a comparative study of the formation of the caldera and the significant process of biological succession of both plant and animal species occurring in the vicinity of the caldera, an area that was rendered virtually devoid of life forms by a major eruption of the volcano in 1931.

The caldera is also climatologically unique in that, because of its topography and setting, it appears to be able to generate its own weather. A striking phenomenon known as cloud "niagaras" occurs frequently as strong downdrafts form over the caldera walls.

The land withdrawn and reserved by this Proclamation for the protection of the geological, biological, climatological and other phenomena enumerated above supports now, as it has in the past, the unique subsistence culture of the local residents. The continued existence of this culture, which depends on subsistence hunting, and its availability for study, enhance the historic and scientific values of the natural objects protected herein because of the ongoing interaction of the subsistence culture with those objects. Accordingly, the opportunity for local residents to engage in subsistence hunting is a value to be protected and will continue under the administration of the monument.

Section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431), authorizes the President, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and to reserve as part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.

Now, Therefore, I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by Section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431), do proclaim that there are hereby set apart and reserved as the Aniakchak National Monument all lands, including submerged lands, and waters owned or controlled by the United States within the boundaries of the area depicted as the Aniakchak National Monument on the map numbered ANIA 90,006 attached to and forming a part of this Proclamation. The area reserved consists of approximately 350,000 acres, and is the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected. Lands, including submerged lands, and waters within these boundaries not owned by the United States shall be reserved as a part of the monument upon acquisition of title thereto by the United States.

All lands, including submerged lands, and all waters within the boundaries of this monument are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from entry, location, selection, sale or other disposition under the public land laws, other than exchange. There is also reserved all water necessary to the proper care and management of those objects protected by this monument and for the proper administration of the monument in accordance with applicable laws.

The establishment of this monument is subject to valid existing rights, including, but not limited to, rights confirmed in Section 15 of the Act of January 2, 1976 (89 Stat. 1145), and valid selections under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and under or confirmed in the Alaska Statehood Act (48 U.S.C. Note preceding Section 21 ).

Nothing in this Proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation or appropriation, including any withdrawal under Section 17(d) (1) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1616(d) (1)); however, the national monument shall be the dominant reservation. Nothing in this Proclamation is intended to modify or revoke the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding dated September 1, 1972, entered into between the State of Alaska and the United States as part of the negotiated settlement of Alaska v. Morton, Civil No. A-48-72 (D. Alaska, Complaint filed April 10, 1972).

The Secretary of the Interior shall promulgate such regulations as are appropriate, including regulation of the opportunity to engage in a subsistence lifestyle by local residents. The Secretary may close the national monument, or any portion thereof, to subsistence uses of a particular fish, wildlife or plant population if necessary for reasons of public safety, administration, or to ensure the natural stability or continued viability of such population.

Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy or remove any feature of this monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.

Signature of Jimmy Carter


Note: The maps detailing the boundaries of the Aniakchak National Monument are printed in the FEDERAL REGISTER of December 5, 1978.

Jimmy Carter, Proclamation 4612—Aniakchak National Monument Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244417

Simple Search of Our Archives